Closely related to C. marginatus, C. alexandrinus, C. dealbatus, C. javanicus and C. ruficapillus, and all have on occasion been considered conspecific. Until recently, was considered conspecific with C. alexandrinus (and also with C. dealbatus), but differs in much sandier, less rufous-tinged cap (2); lack of a black loral stripe (2); smaller size, with male tarsus 25.56 ± 0.67 vs 29.15 ± 1.36 (effect size 3.35) (2); differences in vocalizations#R (score indeterminate but at least 1). Race occidentalis sometimes considered a distinct species; further study required. Part of population on Gulf of Mexico often separated as race tenuirostris on basis of supposedly paler coloration, but many recent authors include it in nominate nivosus; some evidence, however, of genetic distinctiveness#R. Two subspecies currently recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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